The Fall of Babylon brings on the sixth and seventh seals. It also sets in motion the coming of the plagues found in the book of Revelation.
Revelation 6:12-17 “And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood; and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth, as a fig tree casteth her unripe figs when she is shaken of a great wind. And the heaven was removed as a scroll when it is rolled up; and out every mountain and island were moved of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the princes, and the chief captains, and the rich, and the strong, and every bondman and freeman, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains; and they say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of their wrath is come; and who is able to stand?”
Comment: The stars falling on the earth and causing a great earthquake mark this period of time. The dust darkens the sun and moon. The stars arrive in quantities. It is noted that every one is hiding in the caves and among the rocks. Thus, they knew ahead of time about the coming disaster. With the fall of Babylon, the earth is shaken out of its place and set on a new course leading to collisions with the stars. The people want death because they are unable to endure or change the situation. The world as we know it will be changed as every mountain and island is moved out of its place. At this point, people realize the day of God’s wrath has come. This is perhaps the arrival of Satan and his angels. Revelation 12:7-9 states that they are cast out of heaven to earth when they lose the battle with Michael and his angels. Revelation 12:4 refers to Satan drawing one-third part of the stars and casting them to earth. Satan and his angels will have lost their glory; thus, they will arrive as dark stars.
Revelation 8:1-5 “And when he opened the seventh seal, there followed a silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels that stand before God; and there were given unto them seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood over the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should add it unto the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel taketh the censer; and he filled it with the fire of the altar, and cast it upon the earth: and there followed thunders, and voices, and lightnings, and an earthquake.”
Comment: Even though there is silence, it still reveals God and what is happening. Habakkuk 2:20 “But Jehovah is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” illustrates this scene. The absence of noise reveals that Satan has already been cast out. He is no longer there accusing the brethren day and night as Revelation 12:10 states he does. Also, with this silence we realize that the followers of Christ are silent. They are not complaining or asking God the why questions, or excusing their shortcomings. They see their past prayers (many of which were difficult) mixed with incense and offered on the altar before God. They will understand God’s work and the part their prayers have played. The most significant aspect of this silence is that God is silent. He isn’t preaching to the saints about what they should have done or how badly they have lived, thus illustrating Romans 8:1, which states that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. When the fire from the altar was cast upon the earth there followed thunders, voices, lightening, and earthquake. This represents God’s direct presence as referenced in Revelation 4:5, Revelation 11:19, Revelation 16:18, Exodus 19:16, Matthew 24:27, and Luke 17:24.
Revelation 7:1-8 “After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that no wind should blow on the earth, or on the sea, or upon any tree. And I saw another angel ascend from the sunrising, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a great voice to the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we shall have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. And I heard the number of them that were sealed, a hundred and forty and four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel:
Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand;
Of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand;
Of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand;
Of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand;
Of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand;
Of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand;
Of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand;
Of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand;
Of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand;
Of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand;
Of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand;
Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.”
Comment: While the seventh seal brings silence in heaven, it is reflected on the earth as well. It is the calm after the storm of the stars falling on the earth. There is no wind as the earth once again begins its new rotation and directions. Also, God’s message on earth is silent until the one hundred forty four thousand Jews are chosen. These Jews will reflect on the prophecies of the Old Testament and also those of the New Testament plus the new world events. They will realize that the prophecies of the fall of Babylon found in the Old and New Testament are the same and that Jesus is the Messiah. They are sealed into God’s family and will carry out God’s message to the world. They will warn the world not to follow the devil by taking the mark of the beast, which will lead to their being cast into the lake of fire. The seal on their foreheads indicates the world identifies them as God’s followers. Satanic forces will not be able to change their commitment to God. As a result of their witness, there will be a large group of believers that cannot be numbered. They will be from every nation and language. However, they must endure the evil forces of the tribulation to the point of laying down their lives. This is the second group of martyrs that the martyrs of the fifth seal are told to wait for. This group will also serve God in His temple and God will wipe away their tears, giving them eternal life.
Results of the 144,000 Jews’ Message
Revelation 7:9-17 “After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cry with a great voice, saying, Salvation unto our God who sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb.
And all the angels were standing round about the throne, and about the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, These that are arrayed in white robes, who are they, and whence came they? And I say unto him, My lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they that come of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God; and they serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun strike upon them, nor any heat: for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Comment: They deliver God’s message to every nation, tongue, and people group. These accept the blood of the Lamb as God’s sacrifice for their sins. They have white robes indicating they are killed during the tribulation. In heaven they will no longer experience hunger from not being able to buy food because they refused to receive the mark of the beast, and will no longer be thirsting because of the polluted water. They also experienced the sun scorching them during the great tribulation. The misery of the great tribulation is gone as they enjoy worshiping God. They serve God continually in his temple.
Summary: The Seals
These events were still future when John wrote the book of Revelation. Revelation 5:4-9 “And I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look thereon: and one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not; behold, the Lion that is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath overcome to open the book and the seven seals thereof. And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth. And he came, and he taketh it out of the right hand of him that sat on the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and didst purchase unto God with thy blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.”
Only Jesus is worthy to open the seals. He is the Creator and Sustainer of this earth. The Scriptures tell us God controls the rulers of this world. The seals are events Jesus has planned. My conclusion is that these are historical periods that come upon this earth. These events bring us humans to recognize His dominion and that He is worthy of our praise. He is preparing us for His kingdom. However, Satan continues his battle, blinding the eyes of the unsaved, so that they will not believe.